Sir Bazil Meade, Director/ Founder of The London Community Gospel Choir took some time out for a relaxed chat, laughter and insights with Music-News over Zoom, covering music, inspiration and plans post lockdown for himself and the Choir. Virtual concerts, a potential live Christmas gig at The Royal Albert Hall and a musical surprise for fans are it seems, in the pipeline from the Master of Gospel and the LCGC.

Good to speak with you Bazil and a belated Happy Birthday to you. What did you do on your special day?

I was on social media, staying in touch with family and friends – I got loads of texts from
family, my friends in Europe and people in the music industry.

What gave you the idea to get the choir together?

It wasn’t to get together a choir that was permanent, but to get together to celebrate the music that I loved. Gospel choirs were very popular at the time, in the late 70s/80s. Churches had groups of young people who had a gospel choir. It is different today in our churches, it is more praise and worship – a different type of music and it probably has more European influence than a gospel choir. Gospel music is definitely coming from the black community, origins are from America. American brothers and sisters created this music and formed choirs creating this vibrant activity within the community.

The forming of the choir came about because myself and about three other choir leaders who belonged to separate organisations and we would meet up at events, conventions etc complimenting each other on the songs – singing back to back, they were great sounding (laughs) supporting each other. It was thought that it would be a great idea to bring all the units together as one choir, that is where the idea was born.
People talked about it, it spread to other choirs and we did it. We had a celebration in Kensington Temple, Notting Hill Gate and it was that event that gave rise to the London Community Gospel Choir being formed. People said this is amazing, we have never seen anything like the different denominations coming together as one unit, without labels.

What made you decide to release the track, ‘Sun in the Rain’ during lockdown?

This song, ‘Sun in The Rain’ is our attempt to encourage and inspire our friends across the planet. I know that personally, I am struggling with this lockdown. When everything you know is about activities, being with other people, hearing the music, the friendship and the fellowship that you enjoy and that has been brought to a halt, I am struggling with it. This has enforced rest and a lot of people are rejoicing for that (laughs).

Confined to one space when there are normally conversations, laughter, things that nourish my soul, I am missing that. Choir rehearsal, missing each other, the fellowship and it is a challenge. We needed to put a song out there with a message of hope, for our friends across the globe and that is where this song came from. We released this song years ago, so we decided to use this track, it is a lovely track.

Have you any other plans for the choir during lockdown?

We are going to be doing a virtual concert, which we are hoping to put out at the end of this month, into June we will announce it. We are also in conversation with BT who want to do a virtual concert and if it goes ahead it will be on June 9. Hopefully our Christmas concert at The Royal Albert Hall, as they are holding out this may happen, it is December 9 this is planned. Hopefully, I will be doing the Gospel festival in Barbados, that was meant to happen this year, next year.

If you could chose to play alongside another artist, who would it be?

It would be my favourite artist of all time, Aretha Franklin if she was here and male artist would be Luther Vandross. As an artist and a human being he is just the best artist we worked with. It broke my heart when he died, such a sad loss, too early.

It has been a pleasure to talk with you Bazil and I will see you the other end after this.

Lovely to talk….

Autobiography – A Boy. A Journey. A Dream – Bazil Meade and Jan Greenough
‘Sun in the Rain’ song